As we move into the summer and fall with most live classes rescheduled or cancelled for good, I’ve thought a lot about the new way of learning for us. I feel I’m lucky to have both points of view as a trainer and as the student. I have recent experience (good and bad) in both.
I want to share a few of my own observations when I look at BOTH sides of the learning for me, which I feel are critical to NOT wasting time, your money, the salon’s money, or MISSING the learning that’s happening in a virtual setting.
Let’s face it, we all have that thing that happens when we are focused on a video, or tutorial, then WHOOSH! The mind goes wayyy over there… yes, over to that thing we forgot to do this morning. Or we just saw a shiny, sparkling thing in the other direction, or an AD targeted right at us to suck us down their funnel! Squirrel Syndrome!
It’s the mental “craptrap” that happens and it’s hard enough for stylists and creative people to focus in a live class, and now we are turning to watching a 13 inch screen or worse, the phone.
So how do we set up for the best scenario, knowing all too well what might happen while we are taking a few hours to learn from a great online trainer? Thanks to my trainers, mentors, and my own squirrel head, I am sharing these tips to hopefully help the stylists and salon teams who make the switch to online learning.
1. Set the date and time in your calendar and mind just as you would a trip to a hotel, classroom, education center, or building to watch the show class or event.
2. If you can go into your salon or space and it’s closed that would be ideal! In our hair environment we will learn better.
3. Plan to attend like you would “live” if you are at home to attend the class. Get up and sit up at a table or area that’s not your bed or couch.
4. Use a computer to access the class and set it at the same height as your mannequin or table. (Not the phone.) If you have no choice then so be it, use the phone, but follow other advice below.
5. Look at the tool list prior to the class if it’s hands on. You may be able to work along with online class! We, as virtual teachers, are taught to be able to watch you through the monitor now and you can do hands-on learning from anywhere ( and be coached on it)!
6. Prior to the class: Remove all distractions. TV off, kids gone, dog handled, roommate, etc. Let your loved ones know you are attending a class. If it’s paid or free-- doesn’t matter. This is your continuing education. It has value! You are busy and need to focus.
7. USE A HEADSET. Invest in Airpods, a Smart mike, Beats, anything so you can’t hear the airplane flying over, dogs barking outside, ambulances, and more importantly if the trainer calls on you, or you have a question, THEY can hear you! It makes a huge difference when that moment happens. I have made big mistakes with this both ways.
8. Arrive early to the class. Sometimes there’s virtual “waiting room” and you have to be let in. Or you never know how the leader will be addressing you all. Introducing yourself might lead to making connections or networking with others.
9. Keep your camera on. If it’s a Zoom and it allows, set to video on and sound on MUTE. You can always unmute if you want to ask something.(Or they will tell you to use the chat feature). In your space make sure you have enough light for them to see you! Check your camera and imagine you are trying to see yourself clearly.Use a ring light or table light. I have a great table light I recommend from amazon.
The list of what I use is on my website shop page under Lori’s favorite things for stylists. https://www.lorifudens.com/shop
10. Stay in the entire class. So often the set up helps a student really GET the meat and potatoes when it’s served. Teaching is a process of layers. Our classes are sometimes built with save the best to last. Don’t lose patience and miss the learning. Use discipline and ignore any distractions that pop up. YOU have everything to gain even if you learn one new thing it will be worth it! Keep a notebook and notes for every class to review and share with others in your team if you have one. Remember, “If you ink it, you will think it.”
Good luck with your classes and please don’t ever stop learning.
If you enjoy this please let me know if it helped you out at your next virtual class!
Much love and learning to you! Lori Fudens @Lorifudens_redkenartist
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.